Ukraine’s parliament prepares for greater role in tackling violence against women

As Ukraine prepares to introduce a series of new laws to combat violence against women and domestic violence, Ukrainian parliamentarians were given an insight into what they can do to encourage the process at a PACE-organised national seminar in Budapest this week.

Ukraine has signed the Istanbul Convention – the Council of Europe’s landmark treaty in this field, which sets out guiding principles for protecting women and bringing abusers to justice – and the Verkhovna Rada is due to ratify it soon.

Among other things, the convention foresees the creation of mechanisms to combat violence against women and domestic violence – as well as an important new role for parliamentarians in overseeing its implementation.

MPs from both government and opposition parties in Ukraine, with input from NGOs working in the field as well as Council of Europe experts, came together to clarify key points of the Convention and agree wording for the new national law.

Parliamentarians from France, Austria, Georgia and Azerbaijan also shared their own experiences of implementing the Convention in their countries, while victims of domestic violence gave first-hand testimony of their experiences.

The seminar, which took place in Budapest on 28-29 September 2017, was organised by PACE’s Parliamentary Projects Support Division, in co-operation with the Parliamentary Network Women Free from Violence and the Council of Europe office in Kyiv.